“Raw water” – water that is unfiltered and untreated in any way – has quickly become a trend as a new organic drink choice.
While some experts have poured cold water on the liquid fad, saying it has no health benefits and can pose a risk if there is untreated bacteria present, that has not stopped many turning to the unprocessed and untreated water.
But now one of the trend’s leading products, called “Fountain of Truth,” by Live Water has been revealed as nothing more than expensive tap water, according to Men’s Health.
The New York Times reports that Live Water, which costs more than five dollars a gallon, is often sold out in one natural-foods store in San Francisco’s Mission District at $64 for a minimum of four jugs.
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Live Water’s founder – who changed his name from Christopher Sanborn to Mukande Singh – claims that public tap water is “toilet water with birth control drugs in them.”
Live Water says its water “unfiltered, untreated, unsterilized spring water,” and sourced from Opal Springs, Oregon, a natural spring at the bottom of a canyon near the small city of Madras.
But the pricey “Fountain of Truth” is the exact same water that flows out of the taps in Oregon, according to Men’s Health.
“They are not down at our spring bottling directly from the source. It’s the same water that we’re serving our customers,” Edson Pugh, the general manager of Deschutes Valley Water District, told the magazine, clarifying that Deschutes Valley Water District distributes the same tap water from Jefferson County, Oregon, to Opal Springs.
So, for about one-third of a cent per gallon, Jefferson County residents can drink the same water as the $64 “raw water.”
Live Water did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.